The Garden Grows in Size...and Begins to Give

We found them!  We've been back in NC for a year now, and we've located some daylily farms.  These are only open during The Season (typically between June and July), unlike our favorite daylily farm in MO which was open all year 'round...and even had a lovely cafe and wine-tasting room to enjoy their fabulous view.  Still, you can't have everything, can you?  We're just happy that we can get our daylily collection growing with new varieties.

Road trip!

Last Saturday morning we packed a cooler and headed out on one of the hottest days so far this year to visit Holly Hill Daylily Farm in Moncure, NC, and Lakeview Daylily Farm in Garner, NC (photo to left).  Quite an outting.  We came home with a car-full of new plants, including the following varieties:
  • Chicago Firecracker, Enon, Purple Pinwheel, and Buttered Popcorn (from Holly Hill, pictured in the row, right); and,
  • Alabama Jubilee, Crown Royale, Edith Ann, Eenie Weenie, Elvis' Cape, Love Those Eyes, Persian Peach, Red Ribbons, Red Volunteer (visible in the row pictured above/left), and Within My Heart (from Lakeview)
Of course, the downside of such a bounty is that you have to plant them when you get them all home.  And soon, too. 

Even though we'd had one of our frequently-occuring afternoon thunderstorms (we're having them almost daily), Mr. T thought the ground was OK for tilling.  He worked almost until dark and got two new beds dug in front of the veggie gardens before both he and the tiller ran out of gas.  Then, we picked up where he left off the next morning...working until the thunder and lightning chased us inside.

By Monday noon, all of the new residents were in their spots...with the exception of one large clump (which will yield 5-7 new plants, easy) of Persian Peaches, which will eventually reside in the to-be-developed flower bed at the top of the driveway, in front of the fence.  I may have to hill them into the garden for holding for a few weeks, though, as that bed is a ways down on the To Do list still.

Of course, all of this rain we are getting...along with the hot temps in the high 80's and low 90' revving up the veggie garden, for sure.  In the pic to the left, you can see the Purple Hull peas (foreground), followed by four rows of Bicolor corn (strawberry bed to the left, just out of the shot); then across the garden path (lined with rocks we removed from the garden/Way Back), you can see (from right to left) the border row of zinnias and marigolds, peppers, tomatoes, squash and cucumbers.  Hard to make out, I know, but at least you may be able to tell that things are growing.

And producing.

Yesterday I got my first cherry tomatoes off the Sweet 100 planted in a pot on the deck.  And this morning, I got my first zucchini (right).  I dug up a couple of onions and plan a stir-fry for tonight!  

It's easy.  I'm defrosting a couple of chicken breasts that I'll cut into strips and marinate in an Asian Ginger dressing (store-bought).  Then, I'll stir-fry the chicken strips until done in some hot oil in the wok.  After the chicken is done, I'll toss in the zucchini (cut into bite-size chunks), the onions (sliced and slivered), and maybe some carrots and celery from the fridge; I'll add the tomatoes last.  When everything is done, I'll give it a final coating of Ginger dressing whisked with some corn starch for thickening the sauce.  Serve it all over cooked rice.  Add a bowl of fresh pineapple chunks.  Yum!

While we were working in the garden this weekend, we were joined by a new friend, which I promptly named Bonnie.

Strange name for a turtle, you say?  Not really.  When I was at MSCW (now Mississippi University for Women), I pledged a Social Club called Rosettes.  They had a club song called Bond Eternal.  But, it was sung fast...and loud...and by Southerners who not only dropped their ending "g's" but also the "d" in Bond...and the first time I ever heard it, I asked who was the Bonnie Turtle they were singing about.  Guess you had to have been there.  Anyway, that haunted me the whole pledge season, when I had to carry a pink and silver (club colors) paper mache turtle around with me...everywhere.  And, introduce her.  Meet Bonnie Turtle.  Ah, college.  The best years of your life?

I'm happy to report that the roses we planted recently are doing well, for the most part.  Of the original 16 that we planted, it appears that 13 have taken hold.  All the rain has definitely helped them get established! 

One small problem, however.  Several of the bare-root roses we bought at Sam's Club (great price!) are not what they were labeled!  We have an Angel Face (lovely lavender, properly labeled) and one labeled as Mr. Lincoln (supposed to be red)...which turned out to be another lavender Angel Face.  This beautiful red rose to the right was labeled as Miss All-American Beauty...which is supposed to be a bright pink variety, not ruby-red.  Mystery.  One of the two John F. Kennedy roses (white) is actually a Pink Peace (thank goodness, as the one labeled Pink Peace did not survive).  And, the one that was supposed to be Kordes Perfecta (a pink and white) is actually a long-stemmed red...possibly the elusive Mr. Lincoln?  It's a big guessing game.

Guess it's also a comment on gardening in general.  You don't always get exactly what you thought you would...but it's always an adventure!


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